RIP Zienia Merton

#RIP: actress Zienia Merton has died at the age of 72. She played Sandra Benes in #Space1999, Ping-Cho in #DoctorWho, a registrar in #TheSarahJaneAdventures, a teacher in #Dinotopia, and much more.

Our deepest condolences to her family, friends and fans. May she rest in peace.

Zienia Merton (1944-2018)

Barry Langford Tweet

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Barry Gray: The Composer behind the Works of Gerry & Sylvia Anderson

Children who grew up in Britain in the 1960’s were the first to see the science fiction of the late Gerry & Sylvia Anderson (1929-2012, 1927-2016). These works included a very characteristic set of musical scores that were all composed by the late Barry Gray (1908-1984).

Barry Gray

Barry Gray (1908-1984)

The works to which we’re referring were mostly filmed using puppets in a format that Gerry Anderson dubbed as “Supermarionation”, but the later works were filmed with live actors. We’ve listed the main works below (excluding derivative works), which all have the music composed by Barry Gray.

Barry Gray’s music is characterised by the use of brass and percussion sections, as well as extensive use of leitmotifs. (A leitmotif is a short, constantly recurring musical phrase associated with a particular person, place, or idea.) His works also required the use of fairly large ensembles of musicians, as well as some unusual electronic instruments to produce some very unconventional musical notes and sound effects:

  • An ondes martenot, which was invented in 1928 by French cellist Maurice Martenot  in an attempt to replicate the accidental overlaps of tones between military radio oscillators. ondes_martenot
  • A swarmatron, which is an analogue synthesizer that uses a ribbon controller rather than a keyboard and is noted for its use of multiple oscillators that are linked through a ‘swarm’ control to create its distinctive sound and method of playing.jyniyot2wqop1gibpbci

A live concert of Barry Gray’s music was performed in 2016 in Brighton, UK. Below is a YouTube video discussing the music and instruments that Barry Gray used:

Barry Gary’s Opening and Closing Themes

Included below are YouTube videos of the theme songs written by Barry Gray:

Supercar theme:

Fireball XL5 theme:

Stingray opening & closing themes with snippets:

Thunderbirds opening & closing credits with snippets:

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons opening and closing themes:

Joe 90 opening and closing credits with snippets:

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun movie theme with other themes:

UFO opening and closing themes with snippets:

Space: 1999 first season opening theme:

Space: 1999 first season closing theme:

References

 

RIP Roy Dotrice

#RIP: actor Roy Dotrice has died at age 94. He played Hallyne in #GameOfThrones, Commissioner Simmonds in #Space1999, Benson (voice) in #Saturn3, the Elder in #Earth2, Frederick Lantz in #Babylon5, & much more, including a lot of voice work in animated TV series. His non-sci-fi & non-fantasy work included playing Leopold Mozart in #Amadeus and he was also a well known stage actor & won a Tony Award for his work in the revival of “A Moon for the Misbegotten”. May he rest in peace.

Roy Dotrice

Roy Dotrice (1923 – 2017)

References:

RIP Martin Landau

#RIP: we are sad to report that actor Martin Landau has died at 89. He played Cmdr. John Koenig in #Space1999, Rollin Hand / Miguel Cordova / Gen. Rio Dominguez in #MissionImpossible, Peter Van Garrett in #SleepyHollow & much more. He also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the 1994 movie “Ed Wood”, as well as 2 other Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor in other films. He won numerous other awards, including a Golden Globe for “Mission Impossible”.

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace.

Martin Landau

Martin Landau (1928-2017)

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